25 best animated movies for kids

It's movie night and we know exactly what you're going to watch—one of these awesome animated movies for kids. Whether you're in the mood for a comedy, musical or an adventure, there's something here for everyone.

A still from the kids' animated movie Coco
Photo: Disney

1. Coco

This vibrant Disney/Pixar movie is inspired by Mexico’s Day of the Dead and it won not one but two Oscars, for Best Animated Film and Best Song in 2017. Miguel is a young boy forbidden by his many relatives to play music, but he yearns to become a musician. He’s magically transported to the Land of the Dead, and through various adventures learns about his family and its enduring love and traditions. Prepare yourself because you will cry during this movie—a lot!
Rated: PG
Common Sense Media: Ages 7+

A still from the kids' animated movie Wall-E
Photo: Disney

2. Wall-E

There’s not much dialogue, especially during the first half of this Pixar flick, but kids will still be captivated. Wall-E (which stands for waste allocation load lifter Earth-class) is the last robot on Earth. His main job is picking up leftover trash from a bygone era, but he discovers a new passion when he meets a female robot named EVE. They go on an exciting galactic adventure that leaves kids with an important message about preserving our Earth.

Rated: G
Common Sense Media: Ages 5+

A still from the kids' animated movie Frozen
Photo: Disney

3. Frozen

How could the movie that has captivated every youngster not make our list? Anna and Elsa, voiced by Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, are sisters and total opposites. For one, Elsa is a snow queen cursed to turn anyone and anything to ice. She hides away from the world while outgoing Anna yearns to meet new people and open the doors to their mostly closed kingdom of Arendelle. When Elsa freezes Arendelle, she flees to the mountains. Anna goes after her with a quirky and loyal crew made up of kooky snowman Olaf, mountaineer Kristoff and a lovable reindeer. Be warned: every song will get stuck in your head.

Rated: PG
Common Sense Media: Ages 5+

 

A still from the kids' animated movie Cinderella
Photo: Disney

4. Cinderella

Disney knows how to magically weave a tale! Cinderella tells the story of a sweet young woman who falls in love with a prince. But there are also spirited mice friends, a bumbling hero dog, a fairy godmother, beautiful songs and an evil stepmother, all of which will enchant you. Kids will love watching the birds and mice make Cinderella’s dress for the ball, and later when the animals come to rescue Cinderella from the attic before the prince’s footman leaves without her trying on the glass slipper.

Rated: G
Common Sense Media: Ages 5+

A still from the kids' animated movie The Little Mermaid
Photo: Disney

5. The Little Mermaid

In this Disney flick, we head under the sea, where a young mermaid named Ariel longs to become human after falling in love with a prince. So Ariel makes a deal with the evil sea witch Ursula. In exchange for Ariel’s melodious singing voice, Ursula grants her legs so she can find true love on land. This movie is brimming with incredible songs and features a great cast of characters including Ariel’s pal Flounder the tropical fish and Sebastian the crab.

Rated: G
Common Sense Media: Ages 5+

A still from the kids' animated movie Kubo and the Two Strings
Photo: IMDB

6. Kubo and the Two Strings

A vengeful spirit is after young Kubo. As he tries to escape it, he meets with Monkey (Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Matthew McConaughey), and together they help him finally unlock the secrets of his past—and reveal the true story of his legendary samurai father. Along the way, he will need to use his magical two-stringed instrument as he battles monsters and spirits.

Rated: PG
Common Sense Media: Ages 9+

A still from the kids' animated movie Happy Feet
Photo: IMDB

7. Happy Feet

Mumble (voiced by Elijah Wood) is a young emperor penguin with a sweet life in Antarctica, but he has a problem. While all the other penguins can woo a mate with their melodic singing voices, Mumble can’t hold a tune. Enter his happy feet. Kids will love watching him tap-dance his way to love and acceptance.

Rated: PG
Common Sense Media: Ages 5+

A still from the kids' animated movie Tangled
Photo: Disney

8. Tangled

This empowering take on the classic Rapunzel fairy tale is a must-watch. Mandy Moore voices the sassy, smart princess who yearns to leave her boring life in the tower. When she escapes with an outlaw named Flynn Rider, she finally learns the truth about her real family, what she’s capable of and that her strength has no limit, with or without her beautiful hair. A fierce girl-power story for all ages!

Rated: PG
Common Sense Media: Ages 5+

A still from the kids' animated movie Toy Story
Photo: Disney

9. Toy Story

The first of the Toy Story movies introduces kids to young Andy and his beloved toys. There’s a funny T-Rex, Woody the sheriff and a wiener dog, Slinky (to name just a few). When Andy receives a fancy new toy for his birthday in the form of spaceman Buzz Lightyear, Woody—Andy’s former favorite toy—gets a tad bit jealous. Later, the toys must band together to save Buzz and stick with Andy as his family moves to a new house.

Rated: G
Common Sense Media: Ages 5+

A still from the animated kids' movie My Neighbor Totoro
Photo: IMDB

10. My Neighbor Totoro

In Japan in 1958, a young girl named Satsuki (voiced by Dakota Fanning) and her family move to the countryside because her mother is ill. In the new home, magical creatures reveal themselves and lead Satsuki to a forest filled with more fantastical excitement. A giant rabbit-like animal named Totoro is the “keeper of the forest,” and he helps her as she navigates a world of change and gets used to her new surroundings and life.

Rated: G
Common Sense Media: Ages 5+

A still from the kids' animated movie Peter Pan
Photo: Disney

11. Peter Pan

Based on the timeless book by J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan is a film made for kids who don’t want to ever grow up. One night, Pan flies into the London flat of the Darling family, where Wendy and her two brothers reside. He and his fairy friend, Tinkerbell, take the children back with them to Neverland, a place where kids never have to grow up.  Here, they meet mermaids, the Lost Boys, Princess Tiger Lily—oh, and they must conquer Captain Hook.

Rated: G
Common Sense Media: Ages 5+

A still from the kids' animated movie My Little Pony: The Movie
Photo: IMDB

12. My Little Pony: The Movie (2017)

All of your kids’ favorite ponies trot their way through this charmer. Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and Rarity head out to stifle a dark force that’s trying to take over Ponyville. On their way to stopping the power-hungry Storm King (played by a fabulously mischievous Liev Schreiber) they learn what it means to be true friends.

Rated: PG
Common Sense Media: Ages 5+

A still from the animated kids' movie Moana
Photo: Netflix

13. Moana

With a genius score by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Moana takes kids on an epic journey and teaches them an important lesson about self-reliance and honoring one’s identity. Moana is a teen itching to see what’s beyond her native island and worried about her people’s survival. On a daring mission, she meets the demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson), a very greedy crab and a host of other creatures.

Rated: PG
Common Sense Media: Ages 6+

A still from the kids' animated movie The Lion King
Photo: Disney

14. The Lion King

Young lion cub Simba wants to follow in his king-of-the-jungle father’s footsteps (cue song). But when his father dies in a stampede, Simba must fight his evil uncle Scar and take back his rightful kingdom. Unforgettable characters like meerkat Timon and warthog Pumbaa will delight the whole family—and who can forget that great feel-good song “Hakuna Matata”? It really is a wonderful thing.

Rated: G
Common Sense Media: Ages 6+

A still from the kids' animated movie Finding Nemo
Photo: Disney

15. Finding Nemo

Lovable and naive Nemo is a young clownfish who yearns to explore the world beyond his home shell. When he swims too far from his father, Marlin, and is captured by a diver, Marlin must set out on a desperate search to find his son. Meanwhile, Nemo must dodge a shark and other dangers. He also meets a humorous—and lovable—blue fish named Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), who suffers from short-term memory loss.

Rated: G
Common Sense Media: Ages 5+

A still from the animated kids' movie Inside Out
Photo: Disney

16. Inside Out

Riley is 11 years old and enjoying life as a Midwesterner when she learns her parents are moving the whole family cross-country. Cue the emotions! Riley has trouble with the massive change and suddenly its Anger, Fear and Disgust who are calling the shots, while Joy and Sadness try to help her get to the other side of this mega-transition. It’s a powerful movie and might be a tearjerker for more sensitive kids (OK, and adults, too).

Rated: PG
Common Sense Media: Age 6+

A still from the kids' animated movie Ratatouille
Photo: Disney

17. Ratatouille

Remy is a Parisian rat who loves to eat. But, unlike other rats in his pack, he won’t eat just anything. He’s picky about his food and dreams of becoming a famous chef. Luckily for him, he ends up in a sewer directly underneath one of the City of Light’s best-rated restaurants. Here, he meets Alfredo and, as a team, they both begin to realize their aspirations.

Rated: G
Common Sense Media: Ages 6+

A still from the kids' animated movie The LEGO movie
Photo: Warner Bros.

18. The Lego Movie

Emmet is a generic Lego figurine who always does what he’s told. One day, he’s mistaken for a “special” Lego and ends up on the adventure of a lifetime—and a quest to foil an evil tyrant’s (voiced by Will Ferrell) plot to rule the world. Laugh-out-loud jokes (some seemingly geared toward adults) make this a good one to watch as a family. And of course there’s that song, “Everything is Awesome!”

Rated: PG
Common Sense Media: Ages 6+

A still from the animated movie Zootopia
Photo: Netflix

19. Zootopia

Judy Hopps is the first bunny rabbit to become a police officer in Zootopia, a city filled with all manner of animals. When a new case hits her desk and she needs help from sneaky fox Nick Wilde, things get interesting and, at turns, very funny. Characters like a sloth that works the desk at the city’s Department of Motor Vehicles and a notorious crime-boss shrew will make you and your kids laugh yourselves silly.

Rated: PG
Common Sense Media: Ages 8+

A still from the kids' animated movie Puss in Boots
Photo: IMDB

20. Puss in Boots

Puss in Boots is probably best known from his turn in Shrek, but here he gets his own adorable feature film, and he shines (and makes you want to run to the nearest pet store and find an orange tabby to bring home!). Along with Humpty Dumpty and Kitty Softpaws—whom he meets after a feline dance-off—Puss goes on a quest to steal a goose that lays golden eggs.

Rated: PG
Common Sense Media: Ages 6+

A still from the kids' animated movie Aladdin
Photo: Aladdin

21. Aladdin

Aladdin steals food so he and his monkey buddy, Abu, can survive. One day, he discovers a magical lamp, and when a genie (voiced by the amazing Robin Williams) pops out and offers him three wishes, his life is forever changed. Some might say it’s a whole new world. Can he finally get the beautiful Princess Jasmine to fall in love with him? Or will the evil Jafar get to him first?

Rated: G
Common Sense Media: Ages 6+

A still from the kids' animated movie Monsters Inc.
Photo: Disney

22. Monsters, Inc.

Monsters Incorporated is a successful factory where monsters are trained to scare kids for a living. Two employees—Sullivan and his best pal Mike Wazowski—accidentally let in a little girl from the human world and things start to go very wrong very quickly. A great script with witty jokes and a lot of heart make this a perfect family film.

Rated: G
Common Sense Media: Ages 5+

A still from the animated kids' movie The Incredibles
Photo: Disney

23. The Incredibles

In this Pixar flick, former superhero Mr. Incredible is living a regular (read: dull) life since the government banned all superpowers. Thankfully, he is called out for one last adventure. His mission? Capture and defeat a power-hungry robot. When trouble hits, he’ll need the help of his wife, Elastigirl, and his truly incredible kids.

Rated: PG
Common Sense Media: Ages 7+

24. Shrek

Filled with edgy (and a lot of potty) humor, this movie follows ogre Shrek’s journey to save his swamp home and all his fairy-tale friends, and to rescue Princess Fiona. Filled with side-splitting shenanigans and backed by a terrific cast, Shrek will please kids and adults alike.

Rated: PG
Common Sense Media: Ages 6+

A still from the kids' animated movie Bambi
Photo: Disney

25. Bambi

Bambi is a baby fawn just learning about his world. Along the way, a young doe (Faline) draws Bambi’s attention, as do new friends Thumper (a bunny) and Flower (a skunk). Tragedy strikes Bambi’s seemingly peaceful forest life, causing him to learn a deep lesson about the danger of hunters. Overall, though, a carefree forest life complete with colorful characters will delight young kids.

Rated: G
Common Sense Media: Ages 5+

Read more:
25 best kids’ on US Netflix
10 awesome movies to watch with your tween daughter
Prepare to blow your kid’s mind: All the Disney-Pixar movies are connected

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